My upcoming release, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, releases next month, and it travels into Native American territory. In order to accurately portray the culture, I reached out to a fellow author who is Native American (shout out to @SR Howen). She was very gracious and offered me several references along with her own personal experience. She also suggested the word indigenous to refer to Native Americans, along with “don’t refer to them as” terms. I also contacted another resource who did a sensitivity reading for me and got a “second opinion.” I chose to add a disclaimer that reminded readers this was fiction, and some of what I’d written is protected and private and because I wrote it, and it isn't necessarily accurate (this is fiction, artistic license). This is what my editor called “a snowflake warning.” Look at that! Another etymology change around the use of the word snowflake!
My editor pointed out my use of the word indigenous and how “technically “ it could be misconstrued or inaccurate. If I hadn’t been specifically pointed to that term by someone who “lives the life,” I might have reconsidered my word choice. This is one time I have to overrule my editor.
It's a challenge in these times to be considerate of everyone's feelings, but it's something I do strive to do - hence a sensitivity reader. At the end of the day, everyone's experience is different. When I wrote COOKIE THERAPY, the firemen I interviewed (three of them) gave me different approaches to the climactic scene, to the point where the scenario I worked through with one was deemed as impossible and deadly by another. I won't always get it right. The best I can do is get close enough and hope people forgive me for my mistakes. After all, everybody's experiences are different, after all, and that can even vary by geography. In the end, I can only hope I created an enjoyable reading experience.
UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES releases May 12. You can preorder now, or if you follow me at Amazon or Bookbub, they'll email you when it goes live.
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